End-line Study - Fostering Social Stability through Strategic Communications
The Fostering Social Stability through Strategic Communications project brings into Consortium Search for Common Ground and Zinc Network (Zinc) as an associate member, two organizations with existing staff capacity in Lebanon and the MENA region, significant technical expertise in peacebuilding and communications and experience implementing programs to promote social stability. The 21-month project is working towards an overall impact of: reduced tensions at a local level amongst and between host communities and refugees in Lebanon.
The project aims to promote social stability amongst and between host communities and refugees in Lebanon and will be implemented over a period of 21 months. The main two objectives of the project are to increase collaboration and positive interaction through dialogue and joint activities between refugees and host communities and shift their public perceptions towards greater trust and respect in targeted communities across Lebanon.
The project targeted a broad range of stakeholders including refugees, members of the host communities, municipalities, local influencers, bloggers, media influencers, Ministry of Interiors and Municipalities, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Information and finally the peace building community at large.
The Consortium selected and recruited 24 local Champions to facilitate dialogue sessions and activities at community level. The recruitment process targeted local influencers as well as representatives -to the extent possible- of the demographic and geographic set up of the Lebanese society and demonstrated key peacebuilding skills. Each group of Champions is based in a different municipality (four in each of the targeted localities of Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Tripoli, Akkar, Zahle, Baalbeck). The project also engaged 231 community members that are currently participating in dialogue sessions and initiatives at a community level.
2. Goal and Objectives of Study
Search is seeking a consultant who can conduct a nationwide Endline study of conflict and power dynamics to understand the level of perception of local host community members and syrian refugees at a local level as part of a project that aims to promote social cohesion. Following our 21-month program, we are primarily interested in the power dynamics amongst and between host communities and syrian refugees.
- The Endline Study should enable Search to inform future program design and will assess the overall success and effectiveness of the implemented project. In specific terms, The Endline Study have the following objectives:
- Assess the intended (according to the project’s logical framework) and the unintended outcomes and determine Search’s contribution to identified changes.
- Update the Project’s logframe and indicators with End-line values.
- Assess the project’s Relevance, Efficiency, Effectiveness and Impact, and Sustainability as per The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) evaluation criteria.
- Assess the level of changes in knowledge and perceptions towards the “other”
- Capture good practices, compile lessons learned throughout the lifespan of the project and draw recommendations to inform future programme design in a similar context.
This endline study is expected to give specific focus on assessing the effectiveness of the local grassroots activities in local communities towards achieving the objectives and outcomes of the project. The grassroots activities conducted on a local level are composed of facilitation dialogue sessions conducted by champions (peacebuilding influencers) with community members and community initiatives funded to support collaboration. Findings will be used in an overall evaluation which will include the media and campaign component.
3. Key Questions of the Study
The Endline study should support the team to answer key questions below. The study is expected to prioritize collecting feedback from direct and indirect beneficiaries from the respective community members (including the project’s champions) .
- To what extent did the intervention’s objectives and design respond to the targeted communities’ needs and priorities related to reducing tensions amongst and between Syrian and Lebanese communities? To what extent has ‘do no harm’,conflict sensitivity and barriers been taken into consideration in the design and implementation and what are the effects?
- Have experiences from previous interventions been used successfully to improve the quality of the project?
Effectiveness and Impact:
- To what extent has intervention been effective in achieving its results and planned outcomes (SO)?
- What unintended outcomes (positive and negative) emerged from project implementation?
- What factors (positive and negative) have had the greatest influence on the achievement of results?
- To what extent has the intervention been able to contribute to longer-term effects (impact)? To what extent is the intervention likely to produce impact prospects?
- Was the level of partnership(s) appropriate to support the effective achievement of the intervention’s objectives?
Efficiency and Value for Money:
- To what extent have resources been allocated and utilized in an efficient manner to achieve value-for-money?
- To what extent are the benefits of the program likely to sustain in the long term? What are the main factors behind this?
Cross Cutting Issues:
- How and to what degree did the project adapt in response to monitoring data and contextual factors? To what extent have adaptations resulting from reflections and learning activities been effective?
- To what extent have gender issues, accessibility and inclusiveness of persons with disabilities and people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds been taken into consideration in design and implementation and what are the effects?
4. Geographic Locations
The baseline study targeted local community members and Syrian refugees in 6 targeted Governorates: Beirut, Mount Lebanon , Akkar , North , West and Central Bekaa , and Baalbek-El Hermel. However, the selection criteria of each champion (local peace builder) was to choose 4 champions per area in each of the 6 targeted Governorates. Data collection activities are expected to be conducted in these 6 targeted Governorates and in specific, in the following areas, where the champions are conducting the different project activities:
- Beirut (Badaro, Hamra, Achrafieh);
- Mount Lebanon (Bikfaya, Salima, Khalounieh, Aley, Jounieh);
- Akkar (Akkar, Halba and Bebnine);
- North (Tripoli, Zehrieh and Beddaou)
- West and Central Bekaa (Qab Elias, Fayadeye, and Zahle); and
- Baalbeck-El Hermel - North Bekaa (Baalbeck - Riyak).
5. Methodology and Data Collection Tools
The Endline Study will utilise a mixed method approach consisting of both qualitative and quantitative primary and secondary data collections. The Endline study will be conducted to triangulate data from multiple sources and stakeholders in order to infer reliable findings.
Firstly, the consultant(s) will review key project documents including the proposal, MEL framework, logframe and set meetings with key personnel to better understand the project, its goal and activities. The consultant is expected to review the above background documentation as part of the desk review phase of the study
Secondly, the consultant will utilize primary available monitoring and evaluation data that was formerly collated by project staff including activity surveys and assessments, baseline data, project quarterly reports, etc. In addition, the consultant will rely heavily on the completed Baseline Study/Conflict Analysis to facilitate reliable judgments on what has changed.
Thirdly, the consultant will develop quantitative and qualitative data collection tools and collect data in the form of surveys, interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs), and possibly Case Studies using a solid sampling approach and participatory methods with project beneficiaries and other stakeholders. The consultant(s) shall additionally propose the team set up for data collection (if necessary).
The methodology and data collection tools need to be validated by Search’s MEAL Manager.
The consultant(s) is also required to develop a detailed evaluation matrix with judgment criteria that captures the study’s objectives and evaluation question of which will guide the evaluation process into reliable judgments and outcomes.
Data collection, analysis and the results should represent Inclusiveness—the methodology should include a wide range of viewpoints, specifically gender and age-sensitivity when applicable.
Search expects the following deliverables from the external consultant(s) as they correspond to the timeline and budget:
- An inception report detailing the methodology, data collection tools and timeline;
- Any necessary training of data collectors or set-up of systems for data collection;
- Supervision and participation in data collection;
- Oversight of data coding and analysis;
- All original data submitted to Search;
- A draft endline report in English for review by Search staff and partners; and
- A final report in English (40 pages max in length, excluding appendices) consistent with Search branding and standards for evaluation. The report:
- Uses the Search reporting template unless otherwise agreed in the contract
- Provides a clear connection between the conflict or context assessment and the intended results, articulate the project’s ToC, and include other relevant project specifics
- Fully explains the objectives and research questions of the study, limitations and methods chosen for analysis,
- Findings respect Search’s evaluation standards, are structured around the main objectives of the study, and are presented in relation to the intended target groups. The findings should speak to the link between the project, it’s Theory of Change and its contribution to our strategy. It should explain adaptations that occurred during the project and their impact on results.
- Recommendations should have a clear audience and be specific, accessible, and actionable.
- Indicator table showing all indicators
- Appendices should include detailed research instruments, list of interviewees, terms of references and evaluator(s) brief biography.
7. Logistical Support
The firm/consultant(s) will be responsible for organising their own logistics for data collection (vehicles, fuel, and drivers), and this must be budgeted into the financial proposal. Search can provide support in arranging logistics as agreed upon based on the consultant’s proposal.
In addition, Search and partners will share the following elements with the external consultant(s): Background materials including the project proposal and logframe, etc.
8. Ethical Considerations
The consultancy should take consideration of the rights of participants in line with the ethical codes and guidelines of research. The participant should be asked to provide their consent and made aware that their identities would not be revealed. Cultural rights will be respected; minors below 18 years of age would not be assessed while collected data would be protected for confidentiality all through the data management process.
The firm/consultants are required to respect the following ethical principles:
- Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: Consultant should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. Consultant should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results.
- Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.
- Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.
- Respect for people: Consultant should respect the security, dignity and self-worth of the respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.
The assignment should take into account precautionary measures to avoid covid-realted complications during data collection. These measures should ensure social distancing and remote interactions where possible. Therefore, applicants are kindly required to integrate a detailed multiple scenario strategy in their proposed methodologies and work plans that would ensure efficacy in the delivery of the assignment and allow for flexibility to switch between different modalities (i.e., to virtual data collection and vice-versa) whenever there is a need to do so.
9. Data Quality Assurance and Management
All deliverables will be reviewed and approved by the country office and global Institutional Learning Team prior to acceptance of the final product. The consultant(s) are also required to develop a clear and rigorous quality control plan during the inception phase of which will be implemented and deployed throughout all phases of the evaluation process to ensure reliability and validity of findings.
The evaluation timeline is expected to be kicked off Mid January and concluded in March 2021 by submitting the final deliverables requested above.
The total budget available for this study is 20,000 USD. A detailed budget should be provided, including daily rates for personnel, and costs related to data collection (per total number of people sampled, sites for collection, etc.), analysis, and production of deliverables
10. Requirements of Consultant
Lead consultants must have at least a Master’s degree (PhD preferable) in research methods and/or evaluations, development, conflict or peacebuilding, M&E or any related social sciences;
Skills and experience:
The following skills and experience are expected by Search for our evaluator for this project:
- Proficiency in English and [insert additional language] (written and spoken);
- More than five years of experience in project evaluation, including collecting data in interviews, surveys and focus groups;
- Experience in conflict analysis and working with justice and civil society sectors;
- Experience working with international organizations;
- Experience conducting quantitative surveys and analysis;
- Monitoring and Evaluation methods and data collection skills; and
- Familiarity and experience with contextual challenges in the geographic location(s) where the study will take place.
11. Selection Criteria
Consultant proposals will be selected for:
- Relevance of proposed methodology to the goal, objectives, and research questions for the project.
- Quality of proposed methods, conflict sensitivity approaches, and quality control measures.
- Qualifications of the candidate(s).
- Proposed budget in relation to proposed methodology, deliverables and team.
- Timeline for proposed activities.
How to apply
To apply, interested candidates (individuals or teams) are requested to submit the following documents to:
- Curriculum vitae of lead consultants (consolidated in one pdf);
- A technical proposal clearly outlining the proposed methodology, understanding of requirements, experience doing similar work, and timeline for the endline together of not more than ten pages(excluding annexes);
- A financial proposal (with detailed line items per deliverable)for the completion of the aforementioned deliverables(not more than two pages);
P.S: Technical and Financial proposal to be combined in one pfd
- Short cover letter (not more than one page).